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Giving Back!

December 6th, 2017 by tisner

With a little less than a month left in the year, many begin to think about charitable donations.  Once you’ve decided on an amount to give, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Did you give last year?  Do a quick check of the organization’s website, or give them a call to see what sort of strides they’ve taken.  If you’re not satisfied, or don’t see progress, consider another charity. 
  • As difficult as it can be to narrow your donation to one organization, a larger gift can be more beneficial as one gift, instead of spreading your donations around. 
  • Keep in mind that there are thousands of charities who don’t have it in their budgets to advertise.  Consider giving to a local charity, or a national one that’s lesser known. 
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your list, call the charities if you can’t find their mission statements online, and ask questions.  It’s the best way to get the information you need. 
  • Although there’s nothing wrong with giving to your alma mater or the hospital that took such great care of a family member, find out if your local homeless or domestic violence shelter needs help.  These kinds of organizations usually struggle to make ends meet in providing services.   
  • Make sure your charity is legitimate, and it’s very important to check their finances. Charity Navigator’s website will let your search a charity’s name and get feedback. 
  • Because donations are tax-deductible, the IRS has a search tool that allows you to see what organizations are eligible for tax-deduction gifts. There are other handy options, such as seeing what organizations are no longer allowed to be considered exempt. 
  • Avoid scams–charitable giving is at a high at the year’s end, and crooks abound.  Use the above IRS search tool to make sure your charity is a legitimate charity. 
  • Keep receipts, check stubs or letters of thanks for when you’re filing taxes.  If your donation isn’t monetary, but something valued at over $5,000, the IRS requires an appraisal for your deduction. 
  • Do you volunteer? Any out-of-pocket directly related expenses–even mileage–are tax deductible.  
  • Keep in mind that last-minute online donations made December 30-31 are eligible for a tax write-off.  

Deciding who should benefit from your generosity can be a tough or easy decision, depending on what you already know. Just look for charities that depend on your generosity to keep their doors open, or who need your physical presence to be successful.  Giving isn’t always about money.  

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Thanksgiving Is a Time To Give Back

November 25th, 2014 by tisner

It’s time to gather around with friends and family to give thanks for all that has happened to us throughout the year and time to share in a feast fit for kings. If you want more out of your Thanksgiving this year, you might want to “give back” vegetablesin one way or another. There are many ways that you can “give back” this Thanksgiving and I have listed a few of those for you below.

  • Shop for your Thanksgiving feast at your local farmers market. By shopping at your local farmers market you are helping to support local businesses and in turn that helps your local economy.
  • Use organic foods for your Thanksgiving meal. By choosing to use organic you are not only helping your family to be as healthy as they can be, you are also helping organic farmers as well.
  • Help out at a local food bank or soup kitchen a few hours on Thanksgiving Day. If you have children this is a great way to show your children how to help others who are less fortunate than they are.

There are many other ways you can give back this holiday season and a few more ideas can be found here.

Don’t forget that not everyone has as much as you do and that the holiday season is one of the best times of the year to help make a difference in someone else’s life.  You may be tempted to forget about others and only think of yourself and your family during these busy holiday times but set aside a few hours each week for you and your family to help out those less fortunate and I promise that your holidays will be the best ever.  A few ways you can do this are as follows.

  • Offer to buy your elderly neighbors Thanksgiving meal for him or her. You can also offer to cook their meal to help make the big day less stressful for them.
  • If you know that your elderly neighbor no longer has living family to spend the holidays with, invite them over to share in your families Thanksgiving feast.

Trust me when I say that your Thanksgiving holiday will be the best you ever had if you are only willing to open up your heart and home to others who don’t have as much to be thankful for this year. Perhaps you know of someone who has lost a loved one this past year that you can minister to in the ways mentioned above. If you don’t have a clue where to start in your venture of giving back this season, you can start at your local church or other organizations by asking where you can best be used.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
66 Riley Road
Celebration, Fl 34747

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